Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 19 Feb 2015

Expedition details (GPF2015a-001)

Expedition Name (& Club): Matienzo 2015 (Various)
Destination country: Spain
Region: Matienzo, Cantabria
Lat: 43.3308 Long: -3.6046 Elevation: 327 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Mr Philip Papard
Total cavers: 26
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 2
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 8
UK/nonUK cavers: 24/2
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 30th Mar 2015 - 21st Aug 2015
Duration (days): 145
Man-days in field: 900 Man-days travelling: 140
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

Note – Matienzo 2015 is ongoing during 2015: main activity Easter and Summer. The total man days reflect this, due to split auto days above is in error.
Continue the exploration, surveying and documentation of caves in this important area in Northern Spain that the Expedition has worked on for over 40 years. In 2014 11km of cave was surveyed of which some 7km were new discoveries. For 2015 our primary objectives are:
1. the first part of an extensive water tracing project in collaboration with clubs working in adjacent areas
2. exploration of new passages in the North Vega system found in 2013/4
3. continue exploration of Torca la Vaca-Wild Mare by the new entrance connected in 2014 - should extend this cave to over 20km
4. complete the re-survey and pushing of an important cave and archaeological site, Cueva Riocueava in a new area allocated to us. Previous Spanish survey had 3km of passage with new finds we expect to approach 6km surveyed.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

The benefit of a GPF grant is twofold. Firstly it will help the expedition to replace or purchase equipment including optical brightener agent for water tracing, rope and surveying equipment also to pay for cave radios (we have put our name down for 3 Nicola II ends, we hoped they would be available in 2014 but they are again delayed – an alternative is now being developed by our team) both for Location and Rescue. Secondly support of Matienzo allows us to help young cavers with limited experience to learn good surveying, recording and photography techniques as well as safe exploration methods for virgin caves, we charge a reduced fee for joining the expedition for members under 25. This experience is then likely to be applied to other expeditions further afield in the future.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

The main expedition will take place in between 29 March to 17 April and from 26 July to 21 August, but small groups will be looking and making initial exploration of new sites (above and below ground) at other times in preparation for these main activities.

The primary objectives in 2015 are shown below the first four are the highest priority. The number may seem large, the expedition will split into a number of teams over the two expedition periods, and some of the surface prospecting and lead identification work fits in well for cavers who need an easier days work.
• the first part of an extensive water tracing project in collaboration with clubs working in adjacent areas. The work in 20014 will concentrate on possible flows and hence links in the South Vega System and the nearby Cueva Vallina and a 100km system in an adjacent permit area, working with its Spanish/Belgium team assisted by two French cavers who live in the area and have carried out much work in the area over the past 40 years; In addition pushing will take place in Vallina and South Vega system with re-survey work in the latter (needed for the 1970’s surveys of part of the system)
• To continue the re-survey and extend the Four Valleys system (much of the survey from 1970’s used old methods that have been improved by modern digital methods, and we are bringing this important system’s survey up to date) aim is to try and push possible leads to link this 58km system to the North Vega system (23km). There are a number of intervening caves between these sites with the potential well beyond 100km.
• Continue the exploration of Torca la Vaca, using the new safe entrance allowing access in all weather conditions (bypassed a sump/duck) and giving access to the more remote parts of this 18km system where open leads were left at the end of 2015.
• Complete the resurvey and pushing of Cueva Riocueva in the north limit of our permit area – likely to extend the cave from 3km to approaching 6km.
• Continued exploration of the North Vega system in Ruesga, where significant new passages were found in 2013 and further explored in 2014 by a young team mainly from MUSS (advice is available from older expedition stalwarts, but it is a deliberate policy to leave the exploration and surveying to this younger team)
• Exploring and mapping caves areas beyond the present limits of Fuente Aquanaz a large resurgence (1m3/s ) supplying water to Santander and explored by the team for about 2.4km and through two sumps to a faulted area and choke.
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

NOTE I could not put this info anywhere else! : I have listed a number of members on next page, but in addition there will be a number more (23 or so) but details of these are not yet finalised. These will include a team in the summer travelling with Lloyd Cawthorn from MUSC (students and ex-students all under 30 some with little expedition experience); 6 colleagues with John Southworth (including Harry Long)

Publications etc:
To date the expedition has identified some 4113 caves and sites, surveyed over 350km of cave passage of which 6 caves are over 10km each, the longest now approaching 60km.
We\'re the major explorers. Some references: Cuadernos II, VIII, IX-X; Matienzo 74; Matienzo 75; MUSS Journals 8, 9, 10; Articles in Caves & Caving 8 11 14 18 22 26 32 35 41 44 49 55 58 63 66 70 75 79 83 87 89; Speleology 2, 3 & 5. Trans 8.1 and article in 10.3; articles about the explorations and archaeology in Spanish journals by Peter Smith. Most recent major overview in Spanish is in Actas del V Congresso Español de Espeleología (1990), pp345 - 355 (Federación Española de Espeleología). Annual summaries published with Federación Cántabra de Espeleología.
A major work is Ruiz Cobo Jesús and Smith Peter et al, 2001. The Archaeology of the Matienzo Depression, North Spain. In BAR International Series 975, 224 pages.
La Cueva de Cofresnedo en el Valle de Matienzo, a 198 page colour book summarising a 6 year archaeological project by the same authors, was published 3 years ago by the Cantabrian Government. Expedition reports for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 have appeared in recent Speleology issues. The 2011 and 2012 reports are out for publication very soon by Erin Lynch, the 2013 report is in final editorial stages but all information on the finds etc are on the website together with \"complete\" history & cave descriptions, at
The full colour, dual language book \"Matienzo: 50 Years of Speleology\" (ISBN: 978-0-9566045-0-7) was published in August 2010. This book details 50 years of Spanish and foreign explorations in over 3400 caves.\"
• 320 pages • 310 photographs • Cave surveys • DVD with extra photos and movie files - Power Point presentations - Google Maps presentation • Geological map of the area around Matienzo

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
Complex due to the nature of the Matienzo Expedition as some cavers come with partners etc, so here I have estimated just the cost relevant to the caver.
People will travel by own transport using the Ferry to Santander or Bilbao, or fly form various airports (mainly Easyjet and Ryanair). The rest will take channel crossing and drive through France

# from UK: 62 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £19,620 18 cavers by Ferry at Easter both ways in 6 vehicles £5,000
22 cavers by Ferry in Summer both ways in 7 vehiciles £6,500
Other costs such as fuel, tolls, etc - £3,000
About 12 flights to either Bilbao or Santander rtn at £160 each = £1,920
Parking, Car hire (x3) and mileage of 400ml each car on travel to Mateinzo and while in Spain = £1700
Via ferry and drive via France - 12 cavers - 3 vehicles equ with ml of 2600ml each plus tolls and ferry costs = £1,500

# from outside UK: 8 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £810 Danish team - one vehicle at 2300 km at 20p per Km plus tolla and some 200 Km in Matienzo - £750
Peter Smith and Ian Chandler - live in Matienzo - down as zero costs.
Santi Urrutia member of ADES and lives in Gernika, N.Spain - 240km round trip say 300 incl in Matienzo at 20p per km - £60

Travel total: £20,430 Travel p.p. from UK: £316
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £101


Total: £13,100 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £187 Cavers provide own meals either cooking, local Bar or restaurant - at local Bar Set meals are 12€ (£10 say £12 with Breakfast - About 800 days on site or travelling = about £9,600
Camping and other accommodation - £3500 (note several members have accommodation in area and these are at nil cost to expedition)


Total: £2,480 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £35 A lot of equipment to be used is from previous years or on loan form members so does not appear in the costs - below is new and replacement gear only.
Hangers and bolts (incl for Climbing) - £300
Rope 300m at 1.4 £/m - £420
1x Laptop upgrade and server - £450
Sundres for surveying - paper, waterproof case pads etc - £90
Snappers etc to remove rock - £180
Bags for tackle at £28 each x5 - £140
Cave Radios - estimate of £800
First Aid equipment to update rescue kit - £100

Special 1

Total: £600 Comments:
Special 1 p.p.: £9 Fees paid to Bar to use an area for office re surveying drawing, record keeping etc etc - £600

Special 2

Total: £330 Comments:
Special 2 p.p.: £5 Optica Brightner and detectors (for whole project) - £330
Exped Total: £36,940 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £551
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £336
Mean Exped cost per person: £527

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
NOTE: the majority of costs are born by the expedition members - this is complicated as some travel with partners etc. so splitting the cost is problematic, the above is a best \"guesstimate\" - also above does not take account of cost of trips at other times to look in the area for leads etc. Note also that the period is split and I have separated these in the costings as travel in the summer is more expensive - so the people above included a number of people counted for both the Easter an
Total shortfall: £36,940 Mean shortfall per person: £527

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Mr Nick Williams
Affiliation: BCRA, MD Conformance Ltd

Reason: Nick knows me and other key players of the Expedition including some of the Derbyshire members. I work with Nick in the EUG and he know the experience that the more senior members of the team can give to younger members. He is also fully aware of the

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Mr David Checkley
Affiliation: BCRA

Reason: David lives locally to both myself and Juan Corrin so knows both of us well. Also over the many years that the Matienzo expeditions have been run he has had good knowledge of its work and is familiar with the general area of Northern Spain, having been a key member of the Lancaster University's work at Tresviso in the Picos. He is thus able to give an impartial opinion on the expedition and its work.

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Mr Philip Papard